Here is my 9 yr old son's story. When my son started crawling at 10 months and was dragging his right leg behind him I mentioned it to my doctor. I was told not to worry. At about a year old he basically could only say Mommy and was still dragging his same leg when learning to walk. My doctor told me he is a boy, it will come. We tried teaching how him to talk with flash cards, there was a little improvement and we were still concerned. I demanded that he be sent to see someone. We waited 6 months. The evaluation was 1/2 an hour and nothing was suggested. A coworker suggested that I demand to be sent to the Niagara Childrens Centre and so I did.
We waited a year for an appointment and saw a wonderful Speech Therapist. She was already full but after pleading with her, she took my son's case. Linda(the therapist) told us after 6 months of therapy she suspected Apraxia, but that in Ontario therapist are not allowed to diagnose patients. She got us referrals for OTC and Physio therapy. After the evaluations were done he received OTC for a year.
By the time he started school he had received 2 yrs of speech and one yr of OTC. Linda got us an appointment with a Developmental Pediatrician who diagnosed him with Apraxia. He entered JK with an Education Assistant and then Linda was able to get him into an Early Language and Speech program at the centre for SK. He did very well and his speech greatly improved since he was receiving speech and articulation therapy every day. By the end of the year he had an ACC and we were told that he was being sent back to regular school. We were very upset since we did not think he was ready. He was now in grade one and doing good on an IEP and was even asking for more homework. At the end of the yr we were told that he would not need an IEP. I was shocked especially since the teacher felt that he would not pass grade 2.
After a month in grade 2 his teacher calls for me to met with her to set up an IEP since she felt that he needed one and that he should be allowed to do some of his work out side the classroom with an EA. He was hardly using his ACC and I was having a hard time encouraging him to use it so I contacted his CAST therapist. We discussed with his teacher to get him referred back to the Centre for a yr. They do it this way so that the child does not become too comfortable and does not stop trying. He did great, his speech improved again, his ACC never left his side, he could write 2 sentence stories even though the grammar was bad.He started receiving physio since he was still not climbing stairs properly,and couldn't ride a bike or jump.
My son will be 10 this summer, and after all the hard work he has done and continues to do, I can have a conversation with him. He still needs to use his ACC, sign language and other methods of communication when I don't understand what he is trying to say. He still has issues pronouncing certain letters and he receives speech therapy once a week from the school board. He has his own laptop with programs that help him with writing, math and reading. This year he has gone from a grade one reading level to beginning of grade three level. He loves to draw and do crafts which is amazing for a child who had to have special scissors, pencils, and is still receiving therapy for fine and gross motor skills. He is taking French at school, which he really enjoys. This does not surprise me since he has a very inquisitive mind. His favourite bedtime book is The Big Book of Why. Even though he is few years behind his classmates, they are very willing to help him along at school.
I am so proud of my son, it has been a hard road and he has never given up. I am so glad that there is a lot more support out there for families like ours since no one should have to feel like that no one understands what they are going through.